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And all those woo-woo things (jk 🙃)
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Recently, I laid for an hour in silence on a massage table while a woman hovered her hands above my body. She was an expert in a Japanese form of energy healing called Reiki. Normally, I would never seek something like this - there is zero scientific evidence on Reiki’s benefits, and yes, this is an important criteria for me. But, I am always willing to try new things, whatever those are, and a friend who was visiting was interested in the practice.
So there I was, laying on a bed listening to birds chirping and feeling absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. My friend, who had her session before me, was so moved afterwards that she literally cried. When the practitioner finished with my session she told me I was in a very balanced energetic state - thanks! - and also asked me if I wanted to have children because she had seen, and removed (!), a cloud over my pelvis area. I told her I didn’t want to have children but what I really wanted to tell her was: “Return the cloud to its rightful place!!”. But, anyways, I doubt the absence of the cloud is stronger than my IUD, so we should be good.
This experience made me reflect on my opinions and biases regarding spirituality, specially given I have spent a large chunk of the last decade on a place that is considered an “energy vortex”, and which has been aggressively marketed as a spiritual place for many valid and also many BS reasons. Everyone in Tulum has had their astrology birth chart done (don’t ask me what this is), and you can’t meet five people without one of them being some type of spiritual, energetic, wellness shaman.
You want to do a guided mushrooms trip in the middle of the jungle? you got it; want to have an energetic interaction with tropical fruits? check; want to experience a pre-hispanic sound healing 🤷♀️? it’s available. Anything you could possibly imagine - and most things you probably haven’t - are available in this little slice of paradise.
The truth is that one of the reasons we decided to buy land in Tulum all those years ago was because we liked its “hippie” vibe, and although what used to be a low key atmosphere has long been replaced by a high-on-a-horse Tuluminati aura of expensive and fancy spirituality, some of its origins remain. All of this to say that I am often exposed to conversations and activities that are spiritual in nature, and hence I tend to think more about these things when I am here. And the reality is that I often do an internal eye roll when listening to these topics (i.e. I feel very identified with the reel below :)).
Please note that if you, like many of my closest friends, consider yourself a spiritual person, please know I do not judge you in the slightest and this is not a post about shaming those believes. It is, as usual, a post about me exploring my personal believes around a subject at an attempt at identifying and managing biases.
More and more people, particularly young, self-identify as “spiritual but not religious”, which I briefly wrote about on another post about atheism, but that label has always felt inadequate to me, because my believes don’t fit into a neat little box. Maybe yours don’t either?
You see, I believe that we are all connected to each other and to nature. I believe in the inherit goodness of people all over the world, and on the sometimes inexplicable bonds we form with other beings. I believe there are hyper-sensitive people, extra aware and intuitive of other’s emotions and desires. I believe that mind and body are intricately connected and that creating space to process whatever weights on our hearts is imperative to being healthy. I believe in the power of meditation and yoga and music and dance and friendship and therapy.
But also, I don’t believe anyone has any special supernatural power that others don’t, like the power to the see the future or your aura. I don’t believe in any pseudoscience; not in astrology as a way to discern information about who I am or what will happen to me or the world, not in Feng shui as a way to harmonize your surroundings, not in chiropractic or acupuncture or any type of alternative medicine as a way to improve health.
So, am I a spiritual person? I dunno, It all depends on your definition. Do I consider myself a spiritual person? Sometimes :).
Ultimately, I think you get what you seek. My friend sought out the Reiki session because she knew - even if she didn’t fully understand it yet - that she had something to work on, she was open and ready to process a heavy feeling in her heart. And that is what she did, Reiki “worked” for her. I think this applies to most everything in life, even when we can’t articulate it we know when something is off within ourselves, we know when we need to figure out ways to process how we feel, and that (hopefully) leads us to seek ways to do that. Whatever way you choose - whether therapy, or meditation, or temazcal, or acupuncture - I see it simply as you creating an opening, a space to let yourself feel, to let yourself process. And we all need these spaces, so regardless of what your spiritual believes are, regardless of what your logical or non-logical brain tells you, know that by simply acknowledging your need to process hard feelings and finding ways to do that, you are honoring yourself.
So, who knows, maybe I will do another Reiki session someday, when I am open and ready for it….but probably not. I will, however, continue to seek other practices that align more with my worldview to feel at peace, both physically and mentally, regardless of what is happening around me. And I wish you the same.